Beloved elderly woman found dead with pillow ‘mushed ‘ onto her face in ‘suspicious death’

The Gwinnett County Police Department say that a 63-year-old Georgia woman was found dead inside a Suwanee home on Monday in what appears to be a possible homicide.

Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News reports that the woman, Dorothy Ann D’Anna, was found deceased inside a basement apartment in a home off of Collins Point Cove. D’Anna apparently rented the basement apartment from the homeowners, Michael and Tina Breeland, who told authorities they were out of town when the incident occurred. They said they returned homed over the weekend, then found the woman unresponsive when they went to check on her on Monday.

The homeowners told police that after discovering D’Anna, they went next to door to the home of neighbor, Joshua Belcher, and asked for assistance. Belcher then walked into the basement apartment and lifted up a sheet covering D’Anna’s body and found a pillow over her face. Belcher also reported that Tina almost “collapsed” into his arms after he told her that her tenant was deceased.

“We have a lot of unanswered questions right now: what the exact cause of death is, what led the person that called to think something was suspicious about it,” Gwinnett County police Cpl. Wilbert Rundles said.

Michael Breeland told 11 Alive News that D’Anna was not only their tenant, but also a close friend who was like a family member. She’d been living in the basement apartment since 2014.

When the Breeland couple returned home on Saturday, Tina went to the basement apartment twice to check on D’Anna, but each time, a male relative of the victim, who was visiting her, told Tina that D’Anna was sleeping. Cody, the Breeland’s son, said that he saw D’Anna on Friday and she seemed fine.

“My wife was like, ‘Was she still sleeping?’ And he said that she’d had a rough week,” Michael said. “And my wife thought that was odd.”

On Monday, Tina, concerned that she hadn’t heard from her tenant, went to the basement apartment again to check on her. That’s when she discovered the woman lying motionless under a sheet.

“She was very sweet. Nice to talk to. Great to see,” Corey said. “We’d look down off the back deck and say hello to her each day.”

D’Anna, who everyone called “Ann,” was a financial controller at the Southern Center for International Studies in Atlanta (SCIS). President and Founder of SCIS, Peter White, said the woman was “generous and popular.” She worked with the organization for 25 years.

“Once a week she would cook a full meal at home, and bring it to work, and serve everyone. And I mean everyone in the office, the maintenance staff inside and outside the building, the lawn care workers, everyone.”

As of Thursday morning, authorities were still in the process of the death investigation and determining the cause of death.

The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Pixabay]